[MCN] Press Release: SOFT LANDING MISSOULA PRESENTS: Conflict, Poverty, and Identity in the Democratic Republic of Congo September 20th

Soft Landing Missoula info at softlandingmissoula.org
Thu Sep 15 17:01:45 EDT 2016

Press Release-

SOFT LANDING MISSOULA PRESENTS:  Conflict, Poverty, and Identity in the
Democratic Republic of Congo

September 20th    6-8p    UC Theater, 3rd floor of the University Center on
UM Campus

Soft Landing Missoula’s vision is to help Missoula be a welcoming,
supportive and informed community that can assist refugees to integrate and
thrive. We are excited to launch a lecture series to explore the cultures
and histories of the countries from which Missoula is welcoming refugees.

As Missoula welcomes refugee families from the Congo, join us in exploring
the history, culture and experiences of that region. The Congo is a nation
of paradox and contradictions. With half of Africa’s abundant natural
resource wealth it is at the same time one of the world’s poorest
countries. In spite of its rich, vibrant, and welcoming cultural heritage
it is at the same time trapped in seemingly endless cycles of violence and
conflict. Why? What will it take for the Congo to flourish?

We are very thankful to our sponsors for making this event possible-  The
Department of Political Science at the University of Montana, the Montana
Model United Nations and the Global Leaders Initiative.

Welcome offered by Karen Adams, Associate Professor and Chair for the
Department of Political Science at the University of Montana

Introductions by Mary Poole, Executive Director of Soft Landing Missoula

Main Speakers:

Paul Robinson will speak about his experiences as well as the broader
context of the complex

history of the region.

Molly ShortCarr will follow with an overview of refugee camps in which
Congolese refugees have spent decades.

A short question and answer period will take place following the lectures
to address relevant questions from the audience regarding information
provided by the speakers.


This event will not address refugee resettlement efforts in Missoula. The
sole purpose is to provide information on the Congo and East African
refugee camps for Congolese.

About the speakers:

Paul Robinson was born in the Belgian Congo, a son of missionaries. As a
boy he and his family fled from advancing Congolese rebel militias. He
earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in African
History. Paul then joined the faculty of St. Lawrence University, where for
two decades he developed and led the university's Kenya Semester Program.
He also developed and led university initiatives in Africa and consulted on
development programs addressing poverty and the HIV-AIDS crisis. In 1999,
he joined the faculty of Wheaton College as director of the college’s Human
Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) Program, where he served until his
retirement in 2013. Paul became a founding member of Congo Initiative and
the Christian Bilingual University of Congo in 2003. He continues to be a
Founding Member of CI’s General Assembly in Congo.

Molly Short Carr is the executive director of the newly established
International Rescue Committee office in Missoula. A native of Buffalo,
N.Y., Molly received a B.A. in political science and international
relations from Canisius College in 2002 and an M.A. in organizational
leadership from Medaille College in Buffalo in 2011. She will soon defend
her Ph.D. dissertation in leadership and policy at Niagara University
Graduate School. Molly has worked with refugees for almost 15 years. She
was the executive director of Journey’s End, a mid-size non-profit serving
refugees in Western New York, between 2008 and 2014. That year she moved to
Nairobi, Kenya, to work for Church World Service, first as cultural
orientation coordinator, facilitating the implementation of a new English
as Second Language program in Rwanda and Tanzania. She then became a deputy
director of CWS, overseeing the human resources, finance, property,
procurement, travel logistics, and information technology units. She has
been with IRC since July.


Mary Poole

info at softlandingmissoula.org
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